Category: Lists

10 Art Terms To Help You At Your Next Arts Festival

Mirage (36x84)

Greetings Breezles,

A lot of festivals occur during the summertime and arts festivals have to be one of my favorite.  It is so much fun to see the different types of art, listen to live music and just enjoy a nice summer day outside.  After working as a director of an art gallery for many years I have learned a thing or two about art and have gained a new appreciation for paintings and sculpture. So, to help you feel a little bit more knowledgeable about art I listed 10 common terms with their definitions.

Do you like to go to arts festivals?

, E

1. Medium: The type of material used to create a piece of art.  A medium can be almost anything.  I have seen pieces made out of bottle caps, tree branches and even blood.

2. Abstract: A term used to describe a piece of art that is not representational or based on reality

3. Commission: To request a piece of art with you in mind.  Most artists will have you put money down if you would like them to paint something for you.

4. Diptych or Triptych: A diptych is an art piece consisting of two parts and a triptych is a piece consisting of three parts.

5. Lost Wax Process: The way the majority of bronzes are cast.  The piece usually starts out with a precast made out clay, wood or wax.  A rubber mold is made and wax is poured into the rubber mold.  The wax then goes through a porclain slurry and has a hard shell surrounding it.  Finally, hot bronze is poured into this shell and the wax is melted out.  Many bronzes are done in pieces and then welded together.

6. Edition: If a piece of work comes in an edition this means there are more than one.  The edition can be closed or open.  If it is closed the artist makes a minimum amount and stops producing copies once they reach the end  of the edition. If it is open the artist has not decided on the number they want to make yet.  The edition numbers usually look something like 5/30; 5 being the number you are purchasing and 30 being the amount in the edition.

7. Contemporary: Art made during the present time

8.Giclee: An exact print of an original painting using a high end ink jet printer.  Giclees are usually printed onto canvas, fine art or photo paper.  An enhanced giclee means the artist printed a copy of an original, but added paint to parts of the painting, but not the entire piece.

9. Patina: The colors on a bronze.  To get a various colors you paint certain chemicals and acids onto the bronze and heat them at different temperatures.

10. Direct Positive: A photographic term referring to a positive image made directly by exposure to light and by development without the use of a negative. In a direct positive print an image is produced on a surface and then treated chemically to imitate the tonal range of nature.

Painting: “Mirage” by Troy Collins

6 Mountain Camping Tips for Success from an Experienced Camper/Backpacker


Greetings Breezles,

We are planning on going camping this weekend and because I haven’t been camping for a while I thought I should speak to an expert camper to find out what tips he could give me before I went on my adventure in the woods.  The person I spoke to has been camping and backpacking his entire life and doesn’t go a year without doing both.  He has camped in many different types of terrains and has experienced almost every kind of weather while camping, so I thought he would be a great person to ask.  A list of his 6 mountain camping tips are below and I hope they help you on your next camping trip.

What camping tips do you have?

, E

Water– Most campgrounds offer potable water, but a 5 gallon jug sitting on a camp stool saves a lot of steps and you can place it anywhere you want. DO NOT drink from lakes or streams!!!

Wood– Most campgrounds do not offer firewood and it can be hard to find downfall nearby. Bring your own or unload the vehicle and drive a little to a wooded area to pick up all the downfall you want.  A tarp can minimize mess if you choose to do this.  Get branches small enough to break and leave the axe at home.  “White man build big fire, stand far away.  Indian build small fire, stand close”.

Shelter– Whether you prefer a tent or hard sided unit prepare for rain and varying temperatures. The weather specialists are not always right and the mountains make their own localized weather.  Remember, the more you are prepared for bad weather the less likely you will have it.  Look for trees before pitching your tent and place a tarp underneath.

Shelter Yourself– Bug spray (I like 30% DEET), sunscreen and a first aid kit including Benadryl can save an otherwise miserable trip. A rain coat is great for hanging around camp, but a poncho is better for hiking, especially with a pack.

Bedding– When looking for a sleeping bag remember too much can be as bad as too little. Go light and take a fleece blanket for a liner if needed.  It’s always great to have a couple blankets on had just in case you get cold at night.  Air mattresses rule!  There are so many to choose from and there are other things you can use instead of purchasing the fancy backpacking pads.  Pool floats/loungers work just as well or you can find an air mattress that can be pumped up by a car adapter air mattress pump. Take an extra if you are planning on using it in a lake as well.

Clothes– You will get dirty and wet, so make sure the clothes you pack are washable and you won’t be upset if they are ruined. It will get cold, so layer up and have backups just in case.

Are you Ready for Black Friday?

Greetings Breezles,

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and it can be difficult to navigate your way around the stores to find the best deals, so here are 5 tips to help you take advantage of those once a year sales.  

What have you found to be helpful when shopping on Black Friday?

, E

1. Make a List. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for loved ones, you will be able to check more items off your list by doing your research and knowing which items you want to purchase ahead of time. 

2. Use Apps to Find the Best Deals. Apps are one of the best features on our smart phones and there are many apps that will be useful on Black Friday.  The best apps I found for Black Friday are TGI Black Friday and Shop Savvy.    

3. Price Match with Prices Online. Many of the chain stores will price match, so why not use stores found on the internet to score the best deals without having to wait for it to ship.  Amazon and Overstock are two online stores where you can find great deals year round and their prices only get better for Black Friday, so use those stores as additional stores to price match.

4. Make a Budget and Stick to It. A lot of people tend to overbuy when there are so many great deals because they think they are saving money, but if you don’t have the money to spend then you are not doing yourself a favor.  Make sure to set a limit to what you want to spend and don’t go over it no matter how good of a deal it is. 

5. Map Out the Stores you Want to go to. After you have made your list of what you would like to purchase make a list of where you would like to buy your gifts.  By making a map of where you want to shop, you can narrow down the time spent at each store, so you will have solid game plan for the day. If you are a coupon er make sure to place them somewhere you won’t forget when you are ready to go shopping.

6. Bring snacks and water. With all of the shopping who has time to go find somewhere to eat?  Don’t forget to stay hydrated and nourished throughout the day by bringing a little snack you can place in your bag or car.  I always like to have a granola bar or piece of fruit in my bag in case I am in a situation where I need a little energy.  

7. Use Credit Cards With Cash Rewards. If you are using credit cards to purchase gifts why not get some type of reward in return?  If you are planning on making big purchases with a credit card go with the one that has the most rewards.


Shopping on Black Friday can be fun, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Luckily you can find more deals on Cyber Monday. There’s nothing better than shopping from the comfort of your own home without the hassle of standing in long lines and pushing your way through the crowds. Cyber Monday, which is on December 1st this year has amazing prices as well, so keep an eye out to see if any items on your list go on sale.

Happy Shopping!



Photo: Neiman Marcus holiday book 2011


10 Fun Facts About Halloween

Greetings Breezles,

Many people celebrate Halloween because it’s fun to dress up and ask for candy, but I wanted to know a little more about Halloween and why we celebrate it, so I scoured the web to find some random facts about the creepy holiday.   My 10 favorite facts about Halloween are below.

Do you have a fun fact about Halloween?

, E

Halloween Pic

1. Orange and Black are the traditional Halloween colors because orange represents the beginning of the fall harvest and black represents the death of summer.

2. Witches carry broomsticks because older woman who were convicted of witchcraft were usually very poor and could not afford horses, so they needed an aid of walking stick, which was sometimes replaced by a broomstick.

3.  Carving Jack O’ Lanterns originated in Scotland and Ireland.  People would carve scary faces into turnips or potatoes and would place them into windows or door ways to scare away evil spirits. 

4. The name Jack O’ Lantern stems from the story about Stingy Jack and the tricks he played on the Devil.  Soon after Stingy Jack died God would not allow such a person into Heaven and the Devil was still upset about being tricked by Jack, so he would not allow him into Hell.  Instead, he sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

5.  According to the National Confectioners Association almost three quarters of a trick or treater’s treasure is made up of chocolate

6. Halloween has had many names throughout the ages.  It has been called, All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool Snap-Apple Night, Samhaim and Summer’s End. 

7.  Tootsie rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America

8.  The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.  Samhainophobia stems from the word,  Samhain, which was a ceremony held by the ancient Celts to celebrate the end of the harvest season.  Many believed  the dead roamed the earth on Samhain, so they would dress in costumes and leave treats on their front doors to appease the roaming spirits. 

9. Black cats were once believed to protect the powers of witches.

10. Halloween was a day to find your “soulmate”.  In Ireland some would celebrate the holiday by playing romantic fortune telling games that would predict who they were going to marry. Bobbing for apples is one of these games.  Bobbing for apples came about with the combination of the goddess of the fruit tree, Pomona and the pentagram (a Celtic fertility symbol). When an apple is sliced in half, the seeds form a pentagram-like shape and it is thought that the manifestation of such a symbol meant that the apple could be used to determine marriages during this time of year. During the annual celebration, young unmarried people try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string and the first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to be allowed to marry.

7 Items You Can Buy To Help Support The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Greetings Breezles,

 While you are shopping for items to fill your closet for Fall why not buy something that also goes towards a great cause?  Below are 7 items that help the fight against breast cancer by having a percentage of their purchase price go towards breast cancer research, education and support.

When buying clothing or accessories does it make a difference to you if some of the purchase price goes towards a good cause or not?

, E


Bright Pink Demi // Ivy Cross Body Bag // Pink Lifestyle Set // Layered Gemstone Necklace // Pink Pony Cotton Polo // Sleeper Set // Slip On’s

8 Tips for New Dog Owners

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Greetings Breezles,

 There is nothing like finding your new best friend and bringing them home, but if you are a first time dog owner there are a few things you should know before settling down with your new furry friend.  I spoke to my friend who works at the rescue we adopted Bella from and she helped me put a list of 10 tips to help making new dog parenthood a little easier.

What tips do you have for new dog owners?

, E

Dog Proof Your Home: No matter the age of the dog a new home can be stressful and curiosity can get the best of them, so make sure your home is safe for your new BFF.  This may include taping loose electrical cords and baseboards, storing plants on higher shelves, removing any objects that are small enough to swallow and placing breakables/valuables in hard to reach areas.

Purchase Supplies: Grab everything you think you will need for your dog before bringing them home.  A few of the essentials are a leash, collar, crate (if you are crate training), food, water bowls, food bowls, identification tags, treats, a cozy bed and of course treats.

Find a Vet: It is important to find a vet you trust.  Ask friends with dogs who they would refer and read reviews online.  Make an appointment with a vet shortly after you get your new dog.  The vet can tell you if your dog is up to date on shots, make sure they are healthy and recommend a dog food it should be eating based on its breed, age and weight.

Microchip and Register: You can have your dog microchipped when you have your first vet visit.  It is important for your dog to have a collar and make sure it has tags with their name and your contact information, but you also want to make sure it is microchipped. Once your dog is microchipped make sure you register the microchip right away.  Collars can come off, but microchips aren’t going anywhere.

Get Outside: Exercise is one of the most important things for a dog, especially a puppy.  Whether you enjoy walking, running, throwing a frisbee or a ball make sure daily exercise becomes a routine.  Being active is great for both you and the dog.

Set Rules: Let your dog know who’s boss.  You don’t need to yell or get too stern, but if you see your dog doing something he shouldn’t make sure you let them know immediately.  When your dog does something good reward them with a treat and tell them they have been good.  Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 dogs respond better to their owner telling them they are a good dog after they do something good than treats, so make sure to let them know verbally that they are doing something you like.

Sign Up For Obedience Classes: Even if your dog is well behaved it doesn’t hurt to sign them up for obedience training.  Not only does your dog learn new tricks and how to behave, but you will learn about how to be a better dog owner.  It is also a nice way to meet other dogs in your community, so you can plan a doggy play date.

Prepare Other Pets and Children: When a newcomer is added to the family other pets and children can get neglected.  Try not to have a favorite and treat each animal the same to avoid jealousy. When introducing your new dog to other dogs in the family or friends dogs meet them somewhere neutral, like a park/ l.  Don’t go to a house where one animal will feel territorial and become the alpha. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming them.  It is best not to bring too much excitement to the dog in the first few days.

Autumn Harvest Farmers Market Grocery List

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Greetings Breezles,

   The beginning of fall means fresh produce from your local farmers will be coming to an end.  This week I was able to speak with holistic nutrionist, Amber Young.  I really enjoyed talking with her about what holistic nutrition is and how we can incoporate it into our diet.  Amber said the three main things to remember is to eat seasonal, organic and unrefined foods and one of the best places to find these foods is at your local farmer’s market.   So, with Amber’s help I put together a list of some of the best fruits and veggies for fall you can find at any farmer’s market.

What is your favorite item to buy at the farmer’s market?

, E

Pumpkins: This festive gourd isn’t just for decoration.  When you are searching for a pumpking to cook make sure it is fully mature, so it is hard enough for short term storage and don’t ever carry a pumpking by it’s stem. If them stem breaks off it can leave the gourd with an open wound that invites rot and infection. Lastly, check the pumpking for any brusies or soft spots.  This could be sign of infection which means the pumpkin will rot very quickly.

Winter Squash: Butternut squash and spaghetti squash are only a couiple of the winter squash varieties you can find at your local farmers market.  Butternut squash has a yummy nut flavor perfect for fall recipes and spaghetti squash can be eaten like pasta, so it is a healthy alternative to noodles.

Apples: You may have heard people saying they like to go apple picking in the fall and that is because although apples are availalbe year round they at their ripest September-November.  Apples contain lots of Vitamin C and heart healthy fiber and can be added to many dishes or they can be a great snack all on their own.  When searching fo the best apple make sure there are no soft spots or bruises

Brussel Sprouts: I feel like brussel sprouts get a bad rap, but they can be delicious when cooked the right way.  If you are a bacon enthusiast think about adding a little iron and calcium your favorite meat by including some brussel sprouts.  If you are a vegetarian drizzle your favorite sauce (maybe a homemade pesto) onto the healthy veggie.

Pomegranates: They can be hard to peel, but boy are they delicious once you get them open.  Pomegranates peak between August and December, making fall the best time to break open the tasty fruit.  Add some pomegranate to your next salad or batch of cookies for some extra antioxidants.

5 Glamping Destinations For Your Labor Day Weekend

Greetings Breezles,

  Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer, so rather than renting a hotel room this holiday weekend get outside and be one with nature before the warm weather comes to an end.  If you aren’t one for camping,  but want to sit around a campfire, sleep under the stars all while enjoying the sounds of nature then glamping could be what you are looking for. Below are 10 glamorous glamping destinations to help you relax and enjoy the outdoors this labor day weekend.

What are your plans for Labor Day weekend?

, E

The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, MT

Paws Up

Moab Under Canvas in Moab Utah


Camp Orenda in Johnsburg, NY




The Vail Collective Retreats in Vail, CO


Sinya on Lone Man Creek in Wimberley, TX

sinya 2

5 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Your First Piece of Art

Mirage (36x84)

Greetings Breezles,

  Buying art can be fun, but very intimidating; especially if it is the first piece you have purchased and you don’t know what questions to ask.  To help, I spoke to a director of a local gallery to see what 5 questions every first time art buyer should ask before making that big purchase and they are below.

What questions do you ask when speaking with an artist or gallerist?

, E

  1. Who is the artist?  Ask where the artist studied, their age, if they are living, if they have any important awards or are published, etc.  This helps you figure out where the artist is in their career and where they are headed.  If you are purchasing art in a gallery the gallerist should be happy to tell you all of the important information and give you a bio about the artist.  If you get to meet the artist ask what the inspiration is behind the piece and any other questions that are meaningful to you.  You don’t always get to meet the artist and can really add to the experience, so if you get a chance make sure to take it.
  2. What is the medium? Knowing the medium will help you determine its value.  There are so many different mediums out there, so make sure to do a little research and  get to know the type of art you are interested in purchasing.  If you are looking for originals ask if the artist does giclees or prints so you don’t see your piece hanging somewhere else.
  3. Ask yourself if is true love or infatuation? Most likely you are purchasing art to have for a long time, so you want to make sure you love it.  Does it speak to you and do you connect to it emotionally?   Most galleries will allow you to take art work home on a trial basis to make sure it works in your space before purchasing it. If you aren’t local ask what the return policy is.  Maybe you can ship it on approval.  After all, art looks different in your home than it does in the gallery.
  4. Is the price right for you? There is nothing worse than buyers remorse especially if you are unable to return it. The price of art work varies greatly. It can depend on how reputable the artist is, where they are at in their career, the medium used, the size, etc. Many artists price by square inch, so the larger the piece the more expensive it is.  At times an artist will determine the price by how much time it took them to paint it or the materials used.  Ask the gallerist or artist if the price is negotiable.  Rarely are the prices set in stone, so you can usually get a better deal than the price originally offered.
  5. Is it a quality piece? Look at the materials used and see if it is well finished.  Does it have a varnish or a type of glaze to help protect the piece?  Also look at the shape it is in.  Damage can reduce the value to the piece and the overall cost.  Check for any scratches or tears before purchasing. If there is any damage and you love the piece ask the seller to restore it for you an no extra cost.  If it is a reputable gallery they should have no problem making the painting perfect for you.